by .

This is going to be a power blog today.

Sven Mistlinat dropped an excellent interview with Rapha Honigstein in The Athletic. He basically defended all his signings and gave clear rationale as to why the club made the decisions. He also pumped Matteo and Mavrapanos, saying the Greek defender is the fastest defender in the league, and Matteo should have stayed with us.

Without doubt, we’d be a stronger club with Sven here. A lack of leadership didn’t work out well for his tenure at Arsenal. If Ivan G had stayed, he would have managed the process a little bit better and Raul wouldn’t have been allowed to run roughshod on him or the Arsenal brand. It is what it is… he’s doing a good job in Germany with a young collection of players. Hopefully Edu can do something similar with us this summer.

Arteta reckons we’re about to bang.

“This is where we are but sometimes it is difficult to see the moment now, but I’m sure [of] where we are going.

“We have created a really strong group, a really strong bond with our players, with our fans, with our staff and that is going to pay big in the future.

“If you are not inside the club every day and know exactly what is going on within the club, the only way to convince anybody is to win


Points follow performances… Unai Emery was winning points without performacnes, and it caught up with him. We are performing but not winning points.

Cut out the errors in both boxes and this team will fly.

Our summer is HUGELY important to the revolution. The Arsenal machine has some parts that will always break down. We need to address those and Arteta needs to be fucking ruthless about that instead of believing his own coaching hype like he did last summer. Some things cannot be fixed.

My hope is that we start to match results to our performances starting now.

My second hope is that the plan going into the summer is sexy and clear.

Get rid of the dregs. Sign in young players with high ceilings. Hit the ground running next season.

There is a lot to be excited about. Don’t listen to the moaners that can only make a point by considering the entire season in the worst possible light. This was a transition season. It was a pandemic year, which is why you can’t compare it to any season EVER. The key point… we have found something. The coaching is starting to pay dividends. We are on the right track with the right coach.

What are the chances we could have an easy night for once this season?

It’s a huge game. Let’s see what we have. Let’s keep ’em crossed for a big win.

See you in the comments.

720 Responses to “ARSENAL ABOUT TO BANG (WE HOPE)”

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  1. Matt


    I don’t like it at all. If you think that warrants his inclusion then i think you and I have been watching a different player.

  2. AFC Forever


    “Glad we won but honestly? Why can’t we keep clean sheets? Be error free? Is it too much to ask, especially from professional sportsmen?

    That’s fair because these are top professionals. They don’t need to he told not to play balls into crowded areas of the pitch and put a team mate under pressure. Leno in particular can see the whole pitch, it’s his responsibility. Go long if nothing is on don’t be predictable.

  3. MidwestGun

    Can’t say I wasn’t worried…… but all the goals today were top drawer.. Won’t find 3 better strikes I did enjoy that… they are replaying Mo’s goal.. that had some serious late movement on it..

    And Ode needed that goal for confidence. Total rocket. And I still think Gabs is our best all around defender. so from that standpoint … was enjoyable. To take it to the next level though I still think we have to replace the known braindead defenders like Luiz , Xhaka, Bellerin and Cebs at times.

    Not gonna get into the whole Leno thing again.. been covered.

    It has to be destiny we .. play Villareal at some point..

  4. Thank you and goodnight

    I don’t know if any one is of the same opinion, but I think Leno should be dropped for the next game. These mistakes are becoming far to common from him and until his distribution improves and his ability on the ball is improved, he shouldn’t be first choice anymore. Fine if you want to play out from the back all the time, if you want to do that, Leno has to be dropped.

  5. salparadisenyc

    Vs Spurs:


    Love to see Martinelli come on to win that fucker.

  6. Leedsgunner

    Sure I’m pleased that we won with three away goals but if there is a team I know that pushes the self destruction button on a regular basis… it’s Arsenal.

    This team is so prone to mistakes we could lose this 4-3 on aggregate.

    It’s more that we will need to play some of our first choice first XI to ensure the win.

    Had we won this 3-0 or 4-0 we could have given our strongest players a night off for the return game.

  7. Dolomite

    I hope all the posters that were fixated on blaming Xhaka for the last error goal have now come to realise that it’s all on Leno, the keeper has the vantage position of being able to see and sense danger and not play stupid suicidal passes to players that are facing a double press

    He can also work on his positioning – on both occasions his positions were never ones that could prevent either goal

  8. Dolomite

    Also did anyone else notice how futile it is to play Bellerin? Apart from running he did nothing of note with the ball and STILL cannot pick out an accurate cross like Tierney does

  9. Matt


    Fair enough. I just don’t want to hear anyone chucking the assist stats around to try and justify his inclusion. The guy is done as a footballer. I spend a lot of time watching him off the ball and he offers nothing. Doesn’t show for it, doesn’t make angles and when he has the ball his natural reaction is to pass sideways or backwards. Anything we achieve with him on the pitch is in spite of Willian, not because of him. Unfortunately he has managed to credit himself with 7 assists which paints a much distorted picture of what he has contributed this season!

    And breath…

  10. englandsbest

    Pedro, again you leave me speechless. I agree with your every word, I’ve nothing to add…

    Except, lets not talk about Misinlat and the past. In truth, we’ve been lucky, we’ve ended up with Mikel, an exciting present, and a gilded future.

  11. AFC Forever


    “Had we won this 3-0 or 4-0 we could have given our strongest players a night off for the return game.”

    3-1 away is good enough. The fact they have to score a few means there will be plenty of space on our big pitch at the Emirates. We’ll pick them off. We don’t.concrde lots of goals, defensively we are good it’s just these stupid, head gone moments. Cut them out & we are sound but the players need to learn, especially Leno. Maureen will be all over it, so no mistakes Sunday.

  12. Leedsgunner

    If we sell Lacazette and Nketiah this summer, a tall strong striker, good in the air, able to head the ball for fun has to be a priority.

    I’m thinking someone like a young Miroslav Klose / Oliver Giroud type would score for fun if we set ourselves like this again next season.

  13. Mark

    Bellerin still getting picked, absolute Nothing player who is always so high up the pitch he’s Infront of the forwards.
    Leno crap distribution and shit decisions.!!
    No Martinelli, WTF. Arteta thinks he’s not ready.😂, Pepe only 8 minutes. Auba invisible ( he needs to be used as an impact sub. Took Partey off way to early, then does nothing till 80 minutes 🤔

    Glad for the win, but hopefully people will see why there’s questions over what Arteta does. No repercussions for any of the Shit. Unlikely we’ll win the Europa, too many mistakes and better teams will punish us.

    Generational my ass!

    Why is Martinelli getting so much shade?? My mate says he must have done something. Nah Arteta is just a poor judge of talent.

  14. Marston Matt

    Not sure about Arteta and I don’t agree with this narrative that the errors we keep making are the fault of individual players.

    The whole team has been instructed to play out from the back even when instinct suggests otherwise, i.e. hoof it up-field..

    Leno has been specifically trained, like Luis, Xhaka and everyone else to ponce about with the ball rather than clear it.

    It’s not working and it needs to change. I don’t buy this high risk, high reward bollox, there has been scant reward for it and a lot of conceded goals.

    Must say, I thought Arteta came across like a bellend tonight in his post-match summary on BT Sport. I gave up watching such things after the Emery nonsense, I guess I was spoilt by the charm and wit of Arsene. Is Arteta usually like that? Utterly charmless…

  15. LeMassiveCoq

    @ Captain Tierney above.

    Totally agree. Bellerin is poor. He used to make up for his lack of defensive ability with his attacking but that has also gone now. Sell

  16. Matt


    That’s the concern. You just know every coach now is going to be showing videos of us playing out from the back and highlighting where we are vulnerable. I think we need to almost abandon the approach for a while because it has been an Achilles heel for us and I don’t think you can say other teams have really even tried to exploit it. As and when they do, god help us if we insist on continuing with it.

  17. AFC Forever

    Guys, why keep talking about Willian? It’s like a bloody weird obsessional hatred. We won 3-1 away and everyone’s unhappy William got two assists. Who fucking cares??!!! Assist stats are bollocks anyway. You didn’t want him picked, fair enough but when he plays & gets assists don’t act like your pride has been hurt. Man up guys, take one for the team and be happy or Pedro will have to put you on suicide watch…….!!

  18. AFC Forever

    Sal, yep I did mention it was Leeds, I corrected my screw up, apologies. That was some shot of his. Pleased for him, always gives his all & plays with a smile on his face.

  19. Matt


    You’ve just proved my point!! 😄

    I cannot stand Willian, cannot stand that he plays for my club. He is not good enough. There are far better choices. I’m not sure I recall a shot on target from him in 28 appearances.

    Yes we won and 3-1 away is a great result. But, let’s not kid ourselves that Willian was influential, even if if did get 2 assists – I have to say I didn’t even realise he got two so that shows how mundane the other one was. He either passed it to either Ode or Elneny who both scored rockets, so that ‘assist’ means nothing to me.

  20. Marston Matt


    Yes agreed, but there was a 15 minute spell when, like the rest of you, I was very pissed. These mistakes keep happening — this is a structural issue. They have cost us enough points, when will the penny drop with Arteta?

    And I am beginning to wonder what’s going on with Martinelli.. Why is he not being played? His exclusion feels quite pointed. It’s certainly not developing him

  21. Leedsgunner

    If Leno is being instructed to play out from the back he’s going to escape criticism.

    Arteta will just look at the final score to make himself feel better rather than looking at what our weaknesses were. He will not criticise Leno for following instructions.

    The truth is, these days our weaknesses and mistakes more often than not, lead to goals.

    Stupidly conceded goals transform wins into draws and draws into losses.

  22. AFC Forever

    Arteta was pissed off, you could see that. He gets a camera shoved in his face and a mic, probably not what you want. I agreed with his answers. Yes it is down to the players, Leno isn’t told to pass the ball to a player with three players on him. Players need to take responsibility, these are so called top professionals, don’t tell me they don’t know what a dangerous pass is. Leno’s choice, it’s on him.

  23. salparadisenyc

    Has to be said Ceballos didn’t handle that well, went full panic but he should of never been put in that position with two other options available. That goal is on Leno, whomever up feed said he’s the common demoninator in the costly errors this season resulting in goals was speaking truths.

    Epic shot stopper but his distribution lets him and Arsenal down way too often. Not to stir the salty water but Emi playing out of back is far more assured. But then he’s not the shot stopper Leno is imo.

  24. AFC Forever

    Sal, yep agree. Leno wasn’t even aware n a safe position to make that pass, the goal wasv exposed. It was a dangerous pass to a bloke surrounded by players. I can’t believe he played that to him. Of all his options, that was the worse one, he needs a talking to.

    Great win though, it’s ta ki en a lit of the tension away for the next game.

  25. AFC Forever


    Sal, yep agree. Leno wasn’t even in a safe position to make that pass the goal was exposed.

    Not good typing on a phone!

  26. Marston Matt

    I usually agree with you AFC, but these mistakes have become a part of us. Everyone knew there was a mistake in us tonight.

    In the first half Odegard and Luis played similar passes to Xhaka’s at the weekend which would have led to goals if we were playing a decent side.

    It is now very predictable. I’ve always been of the opinion, in business, football, anything — if it’s not working, try something else.

    This ain’t working, but I think Arteta has no humility to concede it’s not working.

    Don’t get me wrong, most other things on the pitch are working, but this needs to be stolidly re-considered

  27. TheLegendaryDB10

    AFC Forever

    Players need to take responsibility, these are so called top professionals, don’t tell me they don’t know what a dangerous pass is. Leno’s choice, it’s on him.

    I totally agree with you. Responsibility is a key part of ensuring that the right decision is being made on the pitch.

    Where I will disagree with you, is that it is down to coaching to eradicate mistakes and ensure that these don’t replicate in a game. Yet, why are we making them so often? Why is Leno making so many mistakes a top professional, as you say, shouldn’t be doing at this level?

    There seem to be limits in MA’s coaching abilities as well. Or are all our players just crap?

  28. AFC Forever


    It’s a tactic to create space between the lines. It’s not unique to us, The tactic isn’t the problem, it’s the poor decision making of players. The last two goals have been down to Leno, dangerous passes. The one at Burnley cost us 2 points notwithstanding VAR.

  29. Leedsgunner

    The thinking behind playing from the back started from the philosophy that says let’s use all our assets on the pitch to launch quick counter attacks… especially to beat a high press.

    In this even the GK is brought in to be a false sweeper of sorts to quickly transition the ball to a deep lying playmaker to launch counter attack as I understand it.

    All well and good so far.

    However no good making that pass to the playmaker if he’s marked out of the game Leno…?!? We’re supposed to help each get out of pressure not invite more pressure on each other!

  30. Mark


    Funny thing when Emery was on his 20+game winning streak, Pedro was critical. Arteta’s not strung together anything similar yet , you act like no one’s aloud to critique his management cos we won 3-1🤔
    The point you’re missing is that it could have easily been so different. They should have scored that Luiz fuck up, we’re lucky their player fluffed an easy curl into the corner.

    We cannot keep riding our luck. Do saying”FFS be happy we won, is kind of head in the sand. That may be ok for you, but obviously not for most of us. It’s the manner of the win that matters as well.

  31. AFC Forever

    All the coaches have said they don’t get enough time on the training ground by becuse of the games every 3-4 days, and the recovery & preparation for the opposition. Pep had the same problem, he decided to ship out Hart because you need players you can trust. I’m not an expert but my own view is it will get sorted because Arteta was clearly pissed.

  32. AFC Forever

    Mark, behave mate. I’m not here to he insulted just for giving an opinion. So I’ll call it a night

  33. Dissenter

    Someone rightly made that point about the last two giveaways

    Leno is the main culprit
    Arteta needs to sort him out. He also needs competition to stay on his best game.

  34. Mark


    Wow easy mate, don’t do a Piers Morgan. No insults sent your way. You made a point I disagreed with.

    You also said
    “. It was a dangerous pass to a bloke surrounded by players. I can’t believe he played that to him. Of all his options, that was the worse one, he needs a talking to.”

    Which I agree with. It’s just a bit of debating no need to take it so personally.

  35. Mark

    “Leno is the main culprit
    Arteta needs to sort him out. He also needs competition to stay on his best game.”

    He should drop him a game or two, play Ryan. let him know he’s not undroppable, so he learns. He just doesn’t seem to learn or know that that’s not a good decision to pass in there, especially when he has other options on the wing.

  36. Matt


    Dropping Leno for playing out from the back is not going to improve his vision or speed of thought and that is what he lacks. Simply put, I don’t think he is the right keeper to play the way we do and that needs to be addressed by changing the system or changing the person – and I don’t mean dropping temporarily.

  37. Mark

    Matt, I agree but can’t see us selling him. I’d be looking for another keeper but not sure Mikel sees it that way. Chose Leno over Emi, says it all really. Everyone ( most people) rated Emi higher.
    Put it this way I don’t think Villa would have bought Leno if he was available.

  38. Leedsgunner

    I know Lamptey at Brighton is out for the rest of the season but does this mean he will be ready for the new season? Or will he be in rehab? Anyone know why he is out?

    Won’t this make his transfer value go south and make Brighton more open to a transfer?

    What about proposing to them a player swap?

    Nketiah for Lamptey (provided he is going to be fit for the new season).

    Remember Eddie N almost went to Brighton on loan before he went to Leeds last season…

  39. Mark

    I’d like to get rid of him, he lacks confidence and decision making is poor, that then permeates through the defence.

    Valentin called it right earlier, 2 occasions where the defenders chose to not pass it back to him even though he was s clear option. Probably felt
    he’d put them in hot water again.

  40. Pierre

    A nice cameo from Smith Rowe ..showing the others how it’s done.

    Pass and move , always looking forward with great movement off the ball.
    Whenever the ball arrives at his feet , there is an air of expectancy.

    Whenever the ball arrives at Willian’s feet , there is an air of predictability..

  41. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal have conceded 14 goals since the start of the year and I am willing to bet that at least 75% of these are due to silly self inflicted errors by our own players.

    Leno’s kicking and decision making has frankly become also an issue. Tonight he was poorly positioned when he produced a hospital pass to Ceballos. Okay a stronger and better player than Ceballos would have dealt with the situation better, but the pass was poor in the first place.

    He made the same poor decision against Burnley. It is high time that he starts using his brain better than he does. Every opposing team knows that our goalkeeper is a poor distributer and they are all now pressing our team into making these errors.

    There is no point debating whether we made a mistake in selling Martinez. Most of us agree
    on that point. What we now have to decide is whether Leno can sort out this significant flaw in his performance. If not then we need to sell and replace him.

    On a separate issue I don’t understand why Gabriel is not selected as our regular starting Centre Back. He is by far and away the best player we have got on our books. What we need
    to find is a partner who is better than the others on our books.

  42. Pedro

    Bad mistake from Leno this evening. Still a great keeper, but he’s going to have to sharpen up.

    Not quite sure how people are pinning that on coaching. Hardly a high risk moment. You don’t kill a vital part of the system because of individual errors.

  43. Nelson

    “Put it this way I don’t think Villa would have bought Leno if he was available.”

    We could always try to propose Villa to swap Martinez with Leno.

  44. Vintage Gun

    “I know Lamptey at Brighton is out for the rest of the season but does this mean he will be ready for the new season? Or will he be in rehab? Anyone know why he is out?”

    Torn hamstring tendon, Back at the end of May. Good shout regarding a swap deal with Eddie and us paying a bit on top. Him and Saka down the right would be turbo charged!

    Saying that, Hakimi would be the dream for me. Followed his whole career to date and he’s excellent. More than likely a pipe dream given our current standing but who knows?.


    In that order

  45. Valentin

    The problem with Leno’s distribution is that

    1) Arteta ask him to play in a system he is clearly not comfortable and is unable or unwilling to play what is in front of him rather than the instructions to play to the midfield player who drops in. As he does not have any real competition, I am not buying the Arteta is threatening to drop him if he does not follow the instructions. He has to analyse better the situation and make better decision. That may require specific coaching session or buying a better goalkeeper.

    2) the decision to pass was the wrong one, but that is not his single mistake in the move. He tend to make a hard pass on the wrong foot of his teammates. I understand that a hard ball is better in those circumstances than an under pass that could then be contested. The issue is that sending to the wrong foot put his teammates already under pressure in even more precarious situation. Learning the dominant foot of your teammates should not be beyond the ability of a professional goalkeeper. I remember an interview from Jens Lehman when he stated that was one of the first thing he did during training. Telling them that he wanted the ball on his dominant foot, but also conversely learning which foot Sol, Kolo, Sagna wanted the ball on.

    3) his poor passing technique means that often Leno does not even attempt the chipped ball to the fullback or the second midfielder that would bypass the press. When Ceballos was surrounded by four players, 10 yards further up Xhaka and Ödegaard were free. Like Martin Keown stated tonight, a long pass does not mean a long punt in the general direction of Aubameyang. When you look at Ederson at ManCity, a lot of his long passes are toward the fullbacks or the wide midfielders near the half way line.

  46. Dissenter

    If we give Spuds these cheap give away then we will get thumped

    “Not quite sure how people are pinning that on coaching. Hardly a high risk moment. You don’t kill a vital part of the system because of individual errors.”

    If individual errors are decimating the process then you have to play to your players strengths.
    3 seasons ago we could have beaten Atletico in the semi finals but for petty mistakes by Koschielny and then Bellerin.

    We can blame Leno or blame Ceballos or lampoon Xhaka but ultimately the blame lies on the manager; when it’s one too many, then it lands on the manager’s door.

    Arteta Neds to sort it out, Don’t they analyze games anymore?

  47. Kendo

    Another game and performance deserving of a clean sheet, however through our own mistakes we concede a goal. Once we iron those out we’re gonna be really good.

  48. China1

    Pyramid pirlo has to be one of the best nicknames of all time for a player as unexceptional as el neny 😂😂😂😂😂

  49. Leedsgunner

    “Leeds, that’s Lamptey’s second big injury…”


    That doesn’t sound very good does it?! Perhaps we need to stay well away and move on to someone else with a better injury record…

  50. China1

    Pedro if players do not match the system and frequently cause it to break you have the following choices

    1) fix the player who often breaks it
    2) replace the player
    3) change the system

    Just doing more of the same knowing mistakes keep coming is the least useful solution

  51. Tom

    “I hope all the posters that were fixated on blaming Xhaka for the last error goal have now come to realise that it’s all on Leno“

    The exact opposite in fact.
    The last one was on Xhaka and this one is on Leno.
    Posters who believe passing into crowded areas is against Arteta’s wishes miss the whole point entirely and two plays were hardly the same, in that Xhaka had plenty of time to make the pass to Luiz, while Ceballos didn’t.
    Not only that, but Leno was totally out of position to be making risky passes to Ceballos to begin with.
    Also, had Arteta thought Leno should’ve never made the pass to Xhaka, he would’ve told him so. What are the chances Leno would’ve made a similar pass in the very next game?
    Slim to none.

  52. TheBayingMob

    Good win (some terrible defensive lapses, a better team would have burried us) but I feel this is about our level. I don’t fancy us in the next round without a large slice of luck

  53. China1

    TBM we’ll see. If we get through as expected we might play better in the next round and might not need that slice of luck after all

  54. Pedro

    ‘A better team would have buried us’

    Please. We had 3x more shots than them and 4x more on target.

    China, we’re 75% of the way through the season. We’re building for the future. The system is good. He’s going to keep playing it. We won 3-1 tonight.

    Not sure how we could have played better tonight bar the unforced errors.

  55. Nelson

    It is my opinion that the major problem lies with the GK coach. It is clear to me that Leno can’t pass the ball long accurately. So often he had the ball, kept it for more than a mins then kicked a long ball nowhere close to a teammate. He couldn’t even chip the ball to a fullback. It is the job of the GK coach to train Leno to pass a longer ball accurately. Since this is an important element in our system, It is a non_negotiable.

  56. Socrates

    “Please. We had 3x more shots than them and 4x more on target.”

    18 total shots,
    17 chances created
    Big chances ZERO.

    Three goals did not come from the formation and or tactics, but in spite of it. So yeah, please!

  57. Nelson

    That mistake by Luiz could easily cost us a goal. There were two opponents inside the box. Leno still passed the ball to Luiz who then passed the ball to an opponent inside the box.He was free to shoot but missed the net.

  58. Gonsterous

    Great win, on to spurs now.

    I did predict we would over come olmpyiacos, (butchered that spelling), I’m not sure we will get past the next round though. Arteta still too raw. Hope he keeps improving and now rest on his laurels after this win.

  59. Gonsterous


    You could also say the odegarrd pass to Luis which was intercepted could have led to a goal but the player shot wide.

    More to do with the style of play then the players, or should odegarrd also hoof it long?

  60. Leedsgunner

    It’s not the first time I’ve heard there are problems with the first team GK coach… and the players — apparently Leno himself doesn’t rate him and has asked to train instead with Andy Woodman the U23 GK coach.

    Wasn’t first team GK coach the person who recommended Runarsson to the club?

    Worrying to say the least.

  61. Gooner_grower


    More to do with the style of play then the players

    I agree, the mistakes are a result of the style of play as well as the players

  62. Gooner_grower

    I believe that the players(Xhaka, Ceballos, Luiz) are just not good enough to execute this style of play flawlessly.

  63. Tony

    As always happy for the win and the return leg shouldn’t be a problem.

    As soon as we gifted them their goal Arteta should have replaced Willian with Pepe.

    MO will prove his critics wrong. Player has exceptional talent and yet is still settling in to the PL and with team mates.

    Onto the NLD – a must win game for us for various reasons.

    Thought your RF post yesterday was spot on.

    I not a monarchist – never have been; however, I appreciate the good they do for the UK and their tireless work that represents. Just a shame H & M felt they could spin their way out of their expected support for the country and its people.

    My feelings are, if they want to make their own way in the world, then they should either be stripped of their titles or they should give them up and make their way on talent alone. Sadly neither have any real talent – just playing the woke sympathy card, which seems short sighted to me in the extreme.

  64. Nelson


    The odegaard pass and the Luiz’s pass were both mistakes. But the nature of the mistake is different. The odegaard pass is something that is new to us. It was a backpass which was short. It happens in football. But Luiz’s pass is a scenarios happens over and over again. It was designed to play out from the back. This could happen again and again if we don’t correct it.

  65. Tony

    “That mistake by Luiz could easily cost us a goal. There were two opponents inside the box. Leno still passed the ball to Luiz who then passed the ball to an opponent inside the box.He was free to shoot but missed the net.”

    We were very lucky to not be 2:1 down with the 2 colossal mistakes from Luiz and Ceballos.

    Do that against the Spuds and we’ll be punished needlessly.

  66. Tony

    One thing I forgot to add is the government’s 1% nurse pay rise was just a slap in the face for the nurses’ courage for facing the risk of C-19 daily putting themselves in harms (illness and potential death) way to save lives for over a year.

    Especially in the beginning when they had little protection for them selves.

    In my view for people who put their lives on the line where many died doing so, even a 10% rise would seem too little.

    Sorry, back to football.

  67. Sid

    The NLD is a dead rubber, the best we get is a draw,

    Arsenal vs Villareal is the one y’all been waiting for
    Lets get ready to rumbleeee!

  68. Gooner_grower


    “The NLD is a dead rubber, the best we get is a draw,”

    Are you an Arsenal fan?

    I can bet we will be competitive and might even beat the Spuds

  69. The Godfather

    Honestly the decision to sell Martinez looks more and more idiotic by the day. By keeping this clown Leno this joke of a coach not only divided the fan base but surely the locker room and his performances on the field have compounded the idiocy of the decision.

    Arteta is so overrated and clueless in his decision making … ughhh

  70. Samir

    Every fan knows deep down Martinez is better suited to our current style of play.
    No doubt Leno is a good keeper…But Martinez has the size, he’s more calm, better passer under pressure, commands his area – and of course he was ‘one of our own’ more-so.

    But hey, what’s done is done. So lets support Leno!

    Bellerin at RB and Willian at LW are much bigger issues to the squad. Anyone saying Willian is playing ‘well’ is kidding themselves. Sure he has a few assists but the majority have been simple passes turned into something by individual skill.

    Pepe offers much more, Pepe is young and needs gametime to develop, Pepe has value which can be increased. The same with Martinelli.

    Willian is worth £0, is old and only getting worse.

  71. Samir

    Also, Pepe has scores quite a few goals recently.
    Willian has 0 goals. Yes, ZERO.
    This is not an agenda. Arteta clearly has an issue with certain players and isn’t managing Arsenal with the future in mind.

  72. China1

    Pedro the answer is in your message

    1) reduce the unforced errors
    2) replace the prime culprits
    3) change the system

    But if we don’t do any of the above let’s not complain that the unforced errors continue because we don’t appear to be learning any lessons or making any tweaks accordingly.

    I for one don’t like just praying that players stop making the same mistakes again and again

  73. Samesong

    I can see it now Son pressing our defenders like a dog on heat.

    People should be concerned that when we score it’s like we stop playing and almost become nervous.

  74. China1

    Football games are often won and lost on fine margins

    We won 3-1 last night with a silly error

    We drew 1-1 against Burnley in a game with another playing out from the back error

    I don’t like if our plan is just to pray to the heavens that Leno and the other culprits like xhaka will suddenly stop making the same mistakes

  75. China1

    This is something that Martinez was much smarter about

    It’s no use playing out from the back every single time. Much of the time it’s quite easily manageable and there are always circumstances where it’s just not on

    Martinez was willing to accept that and go long. Leno insists on following artetas plan to a T irrespective of his difficulties performing that and the huge risks involved

    If Leno doesn’t have the common sense to know when he has to go long instead then arteta should be telling him. No evidence that’s been happening tho

  76. D3SH

    Can’t believe we’re back to discussing the Martinez sale – again.

    The club would have happily kept him but

    • He wanted to be guaranteed the no.1 spot rather than fight for it
    • His contract was running down and there was a danger he might leave on a free
    • We needed money and there was a solid offer for him rather than one for Leno

    I’m sure if we’d received an offer for Leno last summer we’d have sold him and not moved on Emi. This is just how it goes.

  77. Tony

    “ Martinez was willing to accept that and go long. ”

    Probably against Arteta’s instructions and maybe a consideration in Arteta’s decision process to sell Emi thinking Leno would be more compliant to ‘The Process’.

    Whatever Arteta’s thinking leading to selling Emi it was wrong.

    For me it was the beginning of a catalogue of errors and misjudgments by Arteta to this day.

  78. Northbanker

    Both Leno and Arteta share the blame for this disastrous slow play from thr back football. Arteta undoubtedly creates the rigidity of the system but Leno executes poorly and seems to have poor judgement.

    Martinez showed far more common sense in applying this and his sale is an even bigger mistake than buying Willian, and that’s saying something.

    We need to urgently upgrade Leno in the Summer

  79. The Bard

    Still harping on about the Leno/Emi debate. It’s over, move on. If there is a debate about the keeper it’s should we buy another one? A comfortable win. The goal will do wonders for Odegaard’s confidence. I agree Pedro there is a good look about the team. The summer business is critical.

  80. Mysticleaves

    Discussion EMI whenever it seems Leno makes a mistake is sooooooooo boring and unimaginative. EMI has made mistakes too and worst still, we have sold him and guess what??? Leno is a very good goal keeper. Close to, if not world class. Y’all should really pipe down.

    ‘Pyramid Pirlo’ was good. I also found ‘Thursday Night Pirlo’ as good. Lol

  81. Habesha Gooner

    The fact that Leno completed both passes and our midfielders did something stupid doesn’t warrant this much criticism for me. We just don’t have press resistant midfielders. Have you seen how city play? Do you think Rodrigo, Gundogan or Fernandinho would fuck it up as much as Ceballos and Xhaka did? If they had any awareness of their surroundings, at least they should pass it back to Leno. Not try something stupid. I also have doubts whether Leno is a title winning goal keeper but right now he is good enough for our aims. He is a champions league qualifying goalkeeper. On the look of this season Martinez looks better. But we didn’t have enough sample size to sell Leno instead. We had no money for Partey either. So It was not the worst decision made. Signing Willian to play as a winger and Keeping AMN was mental though. The fact that Leno is being criticized more than the midfielders who made insane errors in judgment, one with a hospital pass and the other trying a skill move on the edge of the box is baffling to me. And if that is the worst Leno is going to do, I am okay with that for now.

  82. Mysticleaves

    If Julian Brandt is available this season, much rather prefer we sign him over Odegaard. It seems they will cost the same amount going by reports on Brandt earlier. I think he’s more suited to us and will be better vertically than Odegaard who is more of a sideways control kind of no10.

  83. Goobergooner

    So get banned for not being positive, or getting with the ‘program’ and just sitting back and taking shit.
    “or Pedro will have to put you on suicide watch…….!!”

    What a boring fucking blog (cult) that would be.

    Despite the above, I am stoked with that result. Couldn’t watch the game was already an hour into work, but the extended highlights showed some good football.

    The goals were incredible. Need some of those absolute belters more regularly.

    Our squad as a whole isn’t horrible. It’s just not top class. I think we have definitely underachieved so far this season, but we still have something to play for and if we can keep up those results in europa then sweet!!

    We’ve played some decent ball the last few months. A few more decent signings next window and we will kick it up a gear regardless of if Arteta is manager or not. (He still will be).

    I also think Gabi mag is our best defender. Just needs that commander next to him, as he is more front footed, who can read his play and ‘sweep’ up behind him.

    Duno if Saliba is that man in the future, but those two together over a period of time would be immense

  84. Goobergooner

    And I agree with some posters saying that it’s not just Leno’s fault. It’s also on the play out the back tactic we can’t default from. It’s fucking bizarre

  85. Black+Snake

    I thought we were playing better when we stopped playing out from the back. Now we’re trying to do it again and it’s no surprise we’re struggling to beat the likes of Burnley

  86. China1

    D3SH he’s being discussed because Leno has made two mistakes in his last two matches which Martinez very seldom made

    If Leno stops making those mistakes there will be nothing to discuss

  87. China1

    Thursday night Pirlo? HAH

    El Neny has more amazing nicknames in his last 8 months at arsenal then most of our players will have in their whole career

    The last arsenal player to have a good nickname was ‘Wally Walnuts. I think it was that game against city when someone set him free on the counter and he jumped out of the way of the ball for no reason that the name dropped

    Bless him! His Mrs did buy him that coffee machine for his birthday that year tho so it wasn’t all bad for Theo!

  88. China1

    Theo was so bants no one could contain him

    Remember when vs Chelsea be fouled himself when running through their midfield, then got up carried on and scored

    Fucking lol

  89. Batistuta

    Nothing has justified William starting games over Pepe and Martinelli if indeed this is meant to be a long term project as most people say it is, 7 assists the bulk being set pieces doesn’t invalidate he’s a Chelsea reject and frankly been horrible since he’s been here.

    That game time should be going to the much younger players who’ve shown a bit more about them.

    Good result yesterday though

  90. China1

    Mystic there was one against City in one of wenger final seasons where I nearly threw my phone at the TV in anger

    Can’t rule out it having happened more than once though 😂😂😂

  91. Crabregas

    I wonder to this day where that coffee machine is these days. No doubt moved on for a Tassimo or a Dolce Gusto

  92. The Bard

    Goobergooner. Good post. Spot on about the squad. Arteta needs some serious upgrades in the summer but with our finances in a shocking state I would expect a few gambles and loans. We just don’t have the money to buy worldies. The state of our wage bill suggests he is under orders to get it down pronto. I also think having no crowds suits the more fragile players as they don’t have to deal with the negativity at the Emirates while others thrive on the atmosphere. Whichever way you look at it if we don’t start doing it next season Arteta will be serious on notice.

  93. Leedsgunner

    Willian is finally producing… isn’t it about 25 games too late?

    Plus hasn’t Arteta massively undermined his credibility by persisting with Willian so long?

    What’s he going to do? Give everyone 25 games before they start producing? I don’t think so somehow…